2021 Lexus IS Shows Off Its Taillights Before The Official June 9 Debut

We haven't seen much of the new car, but it needs a major overhaul

[Photos: Lexus]

The Lexus IS has gone nearly seven years without a major redesign, but the brand’s entry-level sedan is about to get a revamp on June 9. This is the first official ‘look’ at the 2021 Lexus IS, though we can only see the taillights. After Lexus revamped its crossover lineup and dropped the similarly aging GS out of contention, it seems the company’s ready to take aim at cars like the overhauled BMW 3 Series and the refreshed Audi A4. Here, we see some sharp new taillights in play, though we’re sure there’s much more going on ahead of those.

Lexus said precious little of the new entry-level sedan, other than it’s “bringing the thrill of driving to the compact luxury sports car segment.” It will officially pull the wraps off the 2021 Lexus IS at 7 PM EDT on June 9.

2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport
The Lexus IS in its current generation is nearly seven years old, so it’s time for an update.

As for what bringing the thrill means, the car’s underpinnings mostly remain a mystery. Mind you, we didn’t have a hot Lexus IS F with a fire-breathing V8 in the last generation, so the company saying it’s bringing the thrill may be a tacit admission that the last car’s not really up to snuff against its newer competition. If it’s not just a skin-deep refresh, then Lexus may move the IS over to Toyota’s new “Global Architecture”, which may also bring new engines to the model.

At the moment, the most powerful IS model is the IS 350, with a 311 horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Lexus could bring back a new IS 500 model or even an IS F, though it likely won’t have a V8 engine again. Odds are it may get the 416 horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 from the LS 500. Again, however, details are scarce at this point.

More details will be available next Tuesday. With the GS’ departure from the lineup, the IS will almost certainly step upmarket in terms of performance and price to fill the void. With competition like the BMW M340i, Mercedes-AMG C43 and C63 and the Audi A4 and S4, among several others, Lexus needs to step up its game for the next IS to draw buyers into the brand. \